Sometimes it just happens

Last updated: February 25. 2014 8:56AM - 982 Views
Ron Gregory ronjgregory@gmail.com

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As long-time readers realize, it isn’t my style to offend anyone. But ….

Sometimes it just happens.

I have long advocated “fans” sitting on the sidelines during athletic events should be just that … fans. Like yard signs for politicians that should be displayed in the YARD, fans should voice support for their team while shying away from attempting to discredit the opponent. That seldom happens.

In my humble but correct opinion, it was embarrassing Friday evening to hear the Scott student section primarily and a few other fans boo every time Mingo Central’s Dixson touched the ball. He was also booed when introduced in pre-game activities.

Although some more learned readers will think I do not understand what the booing was for (I do, in more ways than one), it was nevertheless uncalled for. No matter where the young man came from; no matter where he lives now; and no matter what the conditions under which he is playing for Mingo Central, he is STILL a student/athlete who should be treated that way. After I was roundly criticized for something I never said about student/athletes, it is sad to see such genuine ill treatment toward a juvenile. Not only deserves that.

Dixson played a great game under the trying circumstances. And, believe me, he heard the boos and chants which affected his play early in the game. If that is the way the Scott students think they should conduct themselves to win a game, I strongly disagree.

I have long been a fan of the Scott student body and its “sixth man” conduct during basketball games. When the awe-inspiring Jason Kingery coached the Skyhawks, he could fire that crowd up like nobody else. And, while occasionally, the wrath of the group was directed at a referee, it seldom went toward an opposing player. When it did, it was wrong then, too.

It should be said that the vast majority of Scott fans Friday evening did not book Dixson at every opportunity. But the loud minority would have been better off chanting, “Go, Skyhawks!”

* * * * * *

One problem with modern-day schools may be that leadership is often lacking from the teaching staff and administration. When teachers and administrators scream at game officials and behave like juveniles themselves in “cheering on” the local team, a lack of discipline can be expected.

* * * * * *

I have also observed over the years that “fans” should shy away from “coaching.” It is not the job of those in the stands to remind Little Billy, who just missed four foul shots in a row, that he needs to “just relax, Billy. Don’t let it get to you.” The coaches are on the bench to coach the team. If they think Billy needs the stress of being reminded that he needs to relax, they can tell him.

Which leads me to observe that one loud-mouthed “fan” near the Scott bench “coached” all evening during the Central game. At one point, he was confused about how many fouls were on one Scott player, shouting loudly that “that’s two fouls on ….” In fact, the called foul was the FIRST one on that particular player. But Assistant Scott Coach Steve McComas, mistakenly believing the “fan” was the scorekeeper telling him the player had two fouls, substituted for him.

Such comments are unwarranted and if a “fan” cannot refrain from trying to coach, he or she should either (a) train to become a professional coach; or (b) keep his or her off-base comments to him or herself.

Although Friday’s “fan help” did not cost Scott the game, it easily could have. And the “fan” would likely have been unhappy with the coaches on the bench for losing the contest.

* * * * * *

Speaking of professional coaches, much ado was made of my comments here two weeks ago that said a head high school coach is an employee of the local board of education — or is supposed to be.

I assume those who argued that, once again, I didn’t know a basketball from a hockey puck thought we were discussing a “professional” board employee versus one to whom that term is not applied. In those cases, which I am familiar with, people are making a distinction between coaches who are employed full-time as teachers, administrators or service personnel by a school system and those who are not. Full-time employees are often called “professional” applicants for a coaching job while those not employed full-time by the schools are considered to not be “professionals.”

Nevertheless, I checked with both the Boone County school superintendent and school principals to make sure all high school coaches are “employees” of the school system. I was assured that they are; their hirings appeared on the board agenda and they were all recommended by their individual school principals. All receive checks from the county school board. Believe it or not, that alone makes them school employees.

I appreciate those who attempted to correct me, though. As I have said, nobody is perfect. I, myself, made a mistake in 1972 and another in 1986.

* * * * * *

Yes, at some point, we will discuss what those mistakes were. If Jimmy Swaggart, my idea of the perfect man, can tearfully confess, so can I. He hasn’t sinned in years either. And, for those readers who express constant interest in my love life, the legislature has prevented me from visiting Branchland lately, so it is at a standstill. I still have my memories, though. There are those who think adultery is a mistake and a sin, but I have been assured by a Catholic friend that it is neither. Hallelujah. Or Bless me, Mother, to be correct.

* * * * * *

It is sometimes humorous to watch various game officials, who conduct themselves in diverse ways. The head referee for Friday’s Scott-Mingo Central game was bent out of shape because the score books were not completed when he asked for them initially. That came with 12:32 showing on the pre-game clock and the official told the scorekeeper he should have had it completed by then.

Then, the same referee looked at the sideline benches. He moved one chair from each side nearest the scorer’s table to the other end of the bench. Those chairs have been in the same spot all season, but this referee apparently knew they needed to re-positioned at the final home game of the season. Hopefully, Scott will not have to forfeit all home wins attained while those chairs were out of place.

* * * * * *

It was a different official who gave Scott the timeout they never called against Mingo. With 4:46 on the third quarter clock, the ref signaled a timeout for Scott amid the protests of both benches. Mingo coaches were convinced five seconds had expired as Scott tried to inbound the ball while Skyhawk coaches argued they didn’t call the time.

The official debated the matter with Scott coaches for several seconds, eventually pointing out two different assistant Hawk coaches he said yelled for timeout.

After the game stoppage, the official walked over to Skyhawk Head Coach Nick Cabell and admitted, “I missed it. It was close to five seconds and I THOUGHT I heard someone yell, ‘timeout.’ Now I know nobody did.”

Like the rowdy “fan,” the timeout apparently did not damage the Scott chances of winning.

* * * * * *

During the same phantom timeout, a piece of the backboard was found out of place. This called for duck tape, the solution to all problems.

Except my love life, it seems.

* * * * * *

The opening game technical foul called against Mingo Central before the game started came after Assistant Coach McComas and Coach Cabell conferred quietly with the scorekeeper. Apparently, someone noticed that Mingo Coach Napier had changed his line-up inside of three minutes before tip-off. Miner fans booed but Napier accepted the penalty with a smile on his face.

* * * * * *

Actually, Friday’s Scott-Mingo showdown had about everything one could ask for.

The scoreboard went out with 1:05 remaining in the first quarter and it took officials awhile to get it restarted.

It didn’t have “everything,” though. Logan Coach Mark Hatcher was not on hand to curse and push the referees. Maybe he can be scheduled to do that during the sectional tournament in Logan.

Logan? How am I going to cover THAT?

* * * * * *

The Harts Middle School Lions boys basketball team lifted their season record to 14-1 with an easy win over Madison Middle in the Black Diamond Tournament at Buffalo High School. The tourney is hosted by George Washington Middle School of Eleanor.

Harts got out to a commanding 23-8 lead after the first quarter and held a 30-12 advantage at halftime. The third period went to the Lions, 11-9, before Madison took the final frame, 12-9.

Harts sensation Drew Williamson led the game scoring, with 23 points. Kyle Browning added 16; C.J. Dalton, five; Ty Sturm, four; and Nick Eldridge, one for the Lions.

The Lions were scheduled to play again yesterday (Tuesday, February 25) in the tournament at Buffalo.

* * * * * *

Finally, in the second half, Scott students stopped booing Dixson every time he touched the ball. But that didn’t stop them from screaming the old, “bull——, bull——” at a game call in the first half.

I report; YOU decide what’s appropriate.

* * * * * *

Your comments, rumors and story ideas are welcome, although I am not going to debate the issues in that manner. My opinion appears here exclusively. Use my email or call my cell, 304-533-5185.

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